Serves 4

1 lb ground sirloin ~or~ (turkey or buffalo...whatever you like)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan, plus more for finishing
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 zucchini, large
1 jar of favorite Tomato Sauce
fresh basil for garnish, optional

NOTE: I used a mandolin to slice my zucchini and I don't have a very thin slicer so I was only able to get 16 slices out of one zucchini but if you have a thin slicer you probably could get 24 slices out of one. If you don't have a mandolin use a sharp knife and a steady hand or a wide vegetable peeler. Confession of a gluten-carb lover- I also made a little side of pasta to go with this.

Make the Filling:
Sautee the ground sirloin and onions in a frying pan over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain sirloin and onion in a colander to remove extra fat. Put the sirloin and onion back into the pan and stir in garlic, parsley, Parmesan, salt and pepper. You can let simmer on low while you slice the zucchini.

Slice the Zucchini:
Use a mandolin, wide vegetable peeler or sharp knife to slice long thin slices of the zucchini, at least 16 slices.

Make the Ravioli:
Make an "X" with the zucchini strips: two strips on bottom and two strips on top. Add about 3 tablespoons of filling to the middle, more or less depending on size of strips.

Fold the strips over the meat filling and set into a baking dish with the zucchini seams facing down.
Continue this process for all the zucchini ravioli.

 Cover the zucchini ravioli with a little sauce and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

While the ravioli is baking you may have remaining sauce and meat, if you do add them together in a pan and keep warm until your ravioli is ready. You can serve that on the plate with the zucchini ravioli on top or with a little pasta.

Finish with Parmesan and a sprig of basil.

 Leftover for lunch...

I was so excited when I was making this recipe because I was able to walk right out my kitchen and  pick some fresh parsley and basil from my garden. I just planted it last week and it already brings me so much joy. There is something about playing in the dirt after a long winter that is medicine to my soul.

This year I did a relatively small garden; its about 3x15 feet. I managed to get 5 tomato varieties, onions, strawberries, peppers and every herb I use in that space. I also planted two raspberry bushes off to the side.




Serves 4

4 (6oz) wild salmon fillets
1/4 cup butter
2 garlic cloves. minced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire 
1/2 lemon, juice
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, add the garlic and stir for about 60 seconds. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, white wine, black pepper, salt. Cook for about 3 minutes then remove from heat.

Place the salmon fillets skin-side down on the prepared pan. Spoon sauce over the fillets.
Broil in the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Swimming at the lake...




1 tablespoon of honey
3 sprigs of mint

Using a sharp knife, cut off the ends of the grapefruit, the peel and the white pith. Cut inside the skin of each segment to remove each section of grapefruit. Set the segments aside and squeeze the membranes over a bowl to extract all the juice. Whisk honey and chopped mint into the juice and set aside.

Arrange the banana slices and the grapefruit segments into a shallow bowl and drizzle the honey dressing over the fruit.

My dad bought an old farm windmill (60 plus feet) that he is planning to relocate, fix and use to pump water from his well to his garden. So my husband and I went out to help him drop it. I had no idea what to expect or how this was even possible without destroying it but I was impressed when I arrived, everything was well thought out, in place and ready to go. [In this case, the apple did fall far from the tree... I am a measure once, cut twice kinda girl.]

There was only one small area it could be dropped which was surrounded by trees. The plan was to lower it slowly into the "goal post" at the far end of the photo...with the help of a cable attached to a tractor on one side and a cable attached to a gator on the other side...
it went perfect...

It needs quite a few new blades but I hope he keeps the vane; its weathered, old and clearly was used as a BB gun target but it carries a story with it. 



These pill pockets are the best: mess-free, cheap, quick, easy and most important for me, Rufus eats his pills without any issues.

This is Rufus...
He has chronic yeast...all over his body: his paws, his mouth, his ears and his belly. If he is not on his meds it is horrible which means I am giving him four pills per day, spraying his infected areas with a spray and putting ointment in his ears twice a day. He has been on numerous different diets, currently is on an all-natural lamb gluten-free diet. He is a high maintenance dog...but we love him and I hate seeing him in pain.

Every morning and evening I feed the dogs and drop two pills in Rufus's food bowl. I don't even know why I bother; he can always detect them which means my next step is to grab a fork full of peanut butter and attempt to hide the pills in the peanut butter which he is still often times able to detect. It is frustrating and messy. Then after I finally get him to take his pills I have to get another sample of peanut butter because this guy is giving the the puppy eyes wanting a taste of peanut butter too...

Adapted from muttnut
Makes 12 pill pockets

1 Tablespoon milk
1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter (chunky if your dog can detect pills easily)
2 Tablespoons flour (any kind)

Note: Measurements for 30 pill pockets
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky if your dog can detect pills easily)
1 cup flour (any kind)

Add the ingredients to a bowl and mix...

Form the dough into a ball...

 Divide into 12 small balls...

You can push a pencil end through the ball if you want a pill holder or just push the pill through when you are ready to give to your dog. Store in the fridge.

Mess-free and easy...




I flew to Georgia for Easter to visit my brother, his wife and kids. We went to the top of Stone Mountain...

sat on the porch and watched beautiful sunsets...

relaxed and played night games outside in the dark with the kids. And listened to the lonesome whippoorwill...ALL...NIGHT...LONG!

However, staying up late with the whippoorwill was worth it when I woke up Easter morning to this... (my sister-in-law knows the way to my heart) the most intoxicating smell AND the most amazing cinnamon rolls ever!

Adapted slightly from Laurens Latest
Makes 12 cinnamon rolls

3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast {use the fast acting kind}
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 1/2-5 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup softened butte
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 - 1/2 cup heavy cream (you have to add slowly to find the right consistency you want)
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Make the Dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour in water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Stir and proof 5 minutes. Once mixture looks bubbly and frothy, pour in remaining sugar and salt. Stir on low for 15-20 seconds.

In a small bowl, whisk the  milk, oil and egg. Pour into the water and yeast mixture. Stir another 20 seconds in the mixer.

Add 2 cups of flour into mixer and stir on low until incorporated. add the dough hook now and slowly add the remaining 2 1/2 - 3 cups of flour in by 1/4 cup increments until dough cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. Dough should be sticky but not sticky enough to stick to your hands when touched.

Once it has reached this stage, knead for 5 minutes. Remove dough from bowl, grease and replace back into same mixing bowl {since it's practically clean anyways.} Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Rise 1-2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
Fill and Cut the Rolls:
In a medium size bowl, stir brown sugar and cinnamon together until combined. Set aside.

Punch down dough.

Flour a large clean table liberally with flour. Roll dough out to be a 20x30 rectangle {or as close to that as possible}.  Spread softened butter over dough, being sure to go right to the edges leaving a 1/2-inch strip untouched on one of the longer sides of dough. Add the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over the butter. Start at a long end and roll dough into a log. Cut off the uneven ends to even out the log.  Cut the log in half and cut each half into 6 rolls, So you should have a total of 12 rolls.

Place into parchment paper lined, greased pans. 12 into a 9x13,  Cover pans with plastic wrap and dish towels. Let rolls rise another 1-2 hours or until they are touching and have risen almost double.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree for 17 minutes, or until tops start to brown. Watch them carefully!
Make the Frosting: 
While the rolls are baking, mix the frosting. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla to a medium size bowl then add 1/4 cup heavy cream and stir until combined. Slowly add more heavy cream until you have the right consistency.

 Once rolls have been removed from the oven, frost them using half the amount of frosting made. Then after they have cooled a few more minutes, frost again with remaining frosting. The first frosting will melt down into the rolls and the second layer should stay put. Serve warm.




1/2 Baguette, sliced thin
1-2 Avocado(s), ripe
8-10 Slices of bacon
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with tin foil and lay the bacon on the pan. (I always have to squeeze just-one-more-on-the-pan).

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is really crispy.

Watch the bacon closely around the 15 minute mark because it can burn quickly, depending on how thick/thin the slices are. The bacon I use usually takes 20 minutes.

Remove the bacon and dry the bacon on paper towels.

Place the baguette slices on the baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  

Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and scoop out the flesh. Mash with a fork in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Crumble the bacon.

Remove the baguette slices from the oven and put a spoonful of mashed avocado on the baguette and sprinkle with bacon crumbles. 

I have big news! I have a black squirrel living in the tree right outside my kitchen window. It is a joke within my family because I get extremely excited whenever I see the black squirrel. I have been known to slam on my brakes and jump out of my car to take a photo of a black squirrel, causing my daughter to be late for school, but you can't blame me... they are rare...and now I have one right in my backyard! My goal is to having him eating out of my hand by the end of summer!



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